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Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening Test May Help Diagnose and Prevent Birth Defects

A recently published study reveals non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) techniques are on the horizon and likely to become the primary method for screening for chromosomal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome. By using non-invasive technologies, health care workers would be able to substantially cut down of the risks associated with more invasive technologies.

Until recently, the primary way to obtain critical prenatal genetic information has been to undergo amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling. However, these more invasive techniques carry a slight risk of miscarriage. A new technique, called cell-free fetal DNA, allows obstetricians to screen for prenatal diseases and pregnancies that are at a high risk of sex-linked genetic conditions.

The advantages of this method include the possibility of detecting, without risk to the pregnancy, diseases that may have potentially serious consequences. Additionally, reports reveal that such tests may be significantly more accurate than any of the previous screening methods.

However, as with any screening technique, the key is ensuring that your doctor provide you all the information you need concerning available tests. The failure of your physician to provide you complete information and hence allow you the opportunity to make choices concerning you and your child's well-being may be considered medical malpractice.

In fact, the failure to diagnose genetic defects and abnormalities is a common form of prenatal negligence. Other examples of negligent prenatal care include, but are not limited to:

  • The failure to recognize and treat fetal distress;
  • Failure to diagnose or treat gestational diabetes in a pregnant woman; and
  • Premature birth due to avoidable complications

Hopefully, this new screening technique will provide parents a safer manner in which to obtain critical information concerning their unborn children.

For more information about prenatal negligence, or if you believe that your child was injured as the result of prenatal malpractice, please contact the experienced California birth injury attorneys at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.

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